>There is also someone in the ACG group (I would be
>pained to identify the individual) of whom I asked several times to
>please tell me whether the wine Jesus created at the wedding in Cana
>(John 2:1-11) would have appeared, using scientific analytical methods,
>to be young (ie, created minutes ago) or old (ie, created gradually over
>months or years by uniformitarian processes). This same unnamed
>individual, who categorically states that the earth is very old, refused
>to answer my question about the age of the wine. Am I missing something,
>or is there something wrong with this picture?
Well, I can't answer that last question, but to this philosopher's eye, the
reference to the miracle at Cana seems to be a false analogy.
I am assuming that Bill's illustration is intended to suggest the question,
if the wine at Cana appeared to be "aged" in the moment Jesus produced it,
why could it not also be the case that the world (or the entire cosmos) had
the appearance of "age" in the moment God created it?
If that is a correct assessment, there is no analagous relationship. The
very definition of "wine" entails the notion of something "aged" (or,
perhaps better, something "matured"). Without some process described as
"maturation," there would be no such thing as "wine." In other words,
"maturation" is an essential attribute of wine; it is an aspect of the
identity of wine.
However, the "world," or "cosmos," or "creation," does not require any such
notion of "maturation" (or "appearance of age") in order for there to be a
world, or a cosmos, or a creation. We just happen to discover empirically
that the stuff looks awfully old. But it could have been otherwise. This
is not the case for wine. Without the "appearance of age," wine would not
be wine; it could not be otherwise. "Maturation" is not an essential
attribute of creation, but it is just such an essential attribute for wine.
In short, the appearance of age in the wine at Cana, and the appearance of
age in creation, is comparing apples and oranges -- or perhaps grapes and
Thomas D. Pearson
Department of History & Philosophy
The University of Texas-Pan American